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Baby Jayden Wray

The BBC is today reporting on the demand by the parents of Jayden Wray for a full inquiry into the death of baby Jayden who died at Great Ormond Street Hospital in 2009.

Prior to Jayden's death both parents had taken their son to their GP and to University College Hospital on  numerous occasions complaining that they thought something was wrong with their child.  They were ignored.  The baby underwent his check up by the GP shortly before he died and the GP found nothing to be wrong with him - yet at this point according to the prosecution the baby had already suffered multiple bone fractures as a result of constant and ongoing abuse! 

The final insult came when one morning the parents woke to find Jayden was very ill.  As any normal parent would do they took him to the GP where he was examined by a trainee GP who, after consulting briefly with a senior doctor (who did not take the time to examine Jayden), told the parents that they should take the bus to University College Hospital, which they did immediately.

At the hospital they were kept waiting for hours in a corridor while not much seemed to happen.  Eventually, the baby was transferred to Great Ormond Street Hospital.

The parents were arrested and accused first of abusing their child and then of their son's murder.  They were prevented from comforting their child as he lay dying at GOSH and the father was told in the most brutal manner imaginable of the death of his son.

The parents were in a no-win situation.  It was claimed that the father was cold, manipulative and controlling because at the police station the mother was upset and kept looking to him for help - bear in mind that at this point her son is laying dying in hospital and she's being denied all contact with him. Later at a family court hearing in the waiting area he lost his temper and was then accused of being violent and aggressive.

In the first weeks after their son's death the parents were denied even the small comfort of being able to spend time together due to bail conditions sought by the prosecution at the instigation of the Detective Inspector in charge of the case on the basis of the conduct already described at the police station.

An autopsy was conducted by not one but two Home Office approved pathologists who formed the conclusion that the vast majority of the injuries were clearly the direct result of rickets.  The police employed a pathologist who is well known by lawyers to be very prosecution minded and, unsurprisingly, he found evidence that the injuries were the result of child abuse not rickets.

The medical evidence for the prosecution was at best weak and was proven to be so at the trial.  The BBC report doesn't really do justice to what happened at the trial, which lasted six-weeks before the prosecution suddenly realised their evidence made little sense and dropped the prosecution.

Not being able to comfort their dying son wasn't the final hurt caused to the parents by this case.  Because legal proceedings were continuing they were prevented from burying their son for years after his death!  Indeed the poor baby spent several times the length of his short life being stored in a freezer in the morgue.  Imagine living with the knowledge that not only was your child dead but you hadn't been there for him when he died and, more than two-years later, he was still lying un-buried in a freezer just a mile or so from where he had lived.

When I first heard of this case I predicted that it had the potential to become as infamous and disastrous for those charged with caring for children as the Baby P case was for child protection services.  If there is a formal inquiry I find it difficult to believe that any of the medical institutions involved would come out smelling of roses.


  1. Call me wind because I am blown away by your post!

  2. All the institutions will, no doubt, learn from their mistakes and will ensure it can never happen again....until the next time

  3. ... and had their second child taken into care for a year or so because of these accusations.


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